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Iran Press TV

Cash-strapped UK has effectively pulled out of NATO naval groups

Iran Press TV

Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:3AM GMT

The British government has admitted that it has effectively pulled out of the NATO naval missions due to economic hardships.

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it has not committed a frigate or destroyer to the alliance’s maritime group in the North and East Atlantic since 2009.

MoD added the same goes for NATO’s second standing maritime group in the Mediterranean since 2010.

The British naval fleet are now only deploying a minesweeper in NATO missions while up to four such vessels were formerly committed to the alliance.

The revelations, made in the form of responses to the MPs in the parliament, have been criticized as “shocking” by officials in Scotland, which is home to key British naval bases including those housing Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines.

“These answers are truly shocking. The fact the Royal Navy has not provided a single vessel to the NATO maritime group responsible for the East Atlantic since 2009 is beyond belief,” Scottish National Party defense spokesman Angus Robertson said.

“This lays bare the over-stretch of the Royal Navy and the past UK government’s over-riding concerns about projecting power instead of being good neighborhood NATO partners,” he added.

The MoD has said the decreased commitments to NATO naval missions were agreed as part of the 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review that defined major cuts of £38 billion to the British defense budget.

AMR/HE



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